Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Sunday said that from promoting entrepreneurship amongst tribal youth and women to transforming tribal schools, J&K government was working tirelessly while promoting village development and tourism, and implementing Van Dhan for the holistic development and empowerment of the tribal communities.
Conferring the first-ever UT-level Tribal Awards at SKICC, Srinagar, Lt Governor Sinha felicitated the individuals and institutions for their exemplary services to tribal welfare and achievements in the field of sports, education, culture, literature, and Science and Technology.
Addressing the award ceremony, LG Sinha said, “I am extremely proud to have participated in the first-ever UT-level Tribal Awards Ceremony. This initiative to acknowledge the achievements and services of the community will encourage many more to work for the welfare of the others.”
Highlighting the measures taken by the government for the welfare of the tribal community of J&K, he announced that 500 tribal youths would be trained under the Financial Literacy Programme proposed by Bombay Stock Exchange and Punjab National Bank.
LG Sinha said that for the sustainable livelihood of the youth, the administration had set up mini sheep farms in the tribal areas.
“Efforts are being made to link the tribal youth with the dairy sector, besides programmes of skill development and vocational training has been launched to bring a large population into the mainstream economy,” he said. LG Sinha said that after many years of wait, the Forest Rights Act was implemented by the government last year. “The administration is setting up 100 Van Dhan Kendras in J&K for sustainable livelihood of the tribal families,” he said. “The government is also starting 1500 Van Dhan Self Help Groups to make women of the tribal community financially independent and empowered.”
On this occasion, MoUs were signed between Tribal Affairs Department and IIT Jammu and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri for establishing tribal chair in both the institutes.
LG Sinha termed the establishment of tribal chairs a milestone in academic research and preserving the cultural heritage of the tribal community. “It will bridge the gap in research, institutional support. The collaboration will work towards preservation of rare books, language styles, socio-cultural heritage and most importantly, the documented history can be digitised,” he said.
LG Sinha said that the Tribal Research Institute in J&K was preserving tribal cultural heritage, felicitating outstanding achievers from tribal communities, identifying problems related to tribals, and pursuing research activities for capacity building to fully realise their potential.
“Guided by the high ideals of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas' of the Prime Minister, the UT administration is not only proudly appreciating the indispensable contribution of tribal society but also steadfastly moving towards establishing a new social order based on social equity and social harmony in the Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,” he said. “We have evolved an effective and comprehensive strategy, being executed at grassroots level for enhancing income of tribal families and providing life-fulfilling opportunities to youth, best possible medical care facilities and bringing each family under social security net.”
LG Sinha said that for the first time in the history, ASHA health workers from the tribal community were being appointed to work for the healthcare of the population living in the high pasture region during the summer season.
“The government has launched tele-medicine scheme to reach out to tribal population living in far-flung areas with the services of specialist doctors. In addition to the Tribal Health Plan started last year, Tele Medicine and Mobile Medical Care Unit will bring much needed transformation in healthcare of tribal families,” he said. LG Sinha said that in the last two years, the J&K government had worked towards achieving the balanced development of infrastructure as well as the human resources through a host of unprecedented policy decisions, schemes and programmes.
Terming education as the most potent tool for the progress of tribal communities, he said that the budget for scholarship had been increased to Rs 45 crore from the last year’s Rs 31 crore.
Lauding the efforts of the officials of the Tribal Affairs Department of J&K, the LG called upon the department to focus on convergence of all available welfare schemes so that maximum benefits are percolated at the grassroots level.
He also highlighted the recent launch of Pradhan Mantri Adi Adarsh Gram Yojana for rapid and inclusive development of tribal villages. LG Sinha also urged the UT Tribal Department to review programmes related to climate action and initiate Annual Earth Care Awards, to be awarded for tribal community based performance.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta termed the occasion a significant beginning to the new era for the development of tribal community. Secretary to the Government, Tribal Affairs Department, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary highlighted various initiatives taken to empower the tribal community of J&K.
The event also witnessed the inauguration and launch of various initiatives for the welfare of the tribal community including First edition of TRI Newsletter, Web-Portal of Tribal Research Institute, Tribal Helpline, State-of-the-Art Computer Lab, Skill Development Programme for tribal Vulnerable Groups, Tele-Consultation facility for migratory tribal population, smart survey app for nomadic tribal communities, and a book titled ‘Khanabadosh’. Later, LG Sinha flagged off 41 ambulances for different cluster tribal villages. Vice-Chancellor BGSBU Prof Akbar Masood, Deputy Commissioners from various districts, PRI members, prominent citizens and members of the tribal community in large numbers were present on the occasion.